The Value of Hibernation

I haven’t posted for a while.  I’ve been somewhat in hibernation mode and less involved in online worlds and social media for the the last few days.  I don’t know why, but something told me this was what I needed.  But even so my chatterbox has been working overtime: …there’s SO much you could have achieved today if you’d been bothered… look how busy everyone ELSE is.  Isn’t it amazing how we can berate ourselves for not being productive the minute we get a spare moment.   We spend our lives longing for more time for ourselves, and then when we get it we feel inadequate if we don’t manage to use it to pay the bills, spring clean the kitchen cupboards or start an award winning novel.  No wonder there are so many of us who’ve burnout out.  Enough already!

The glorification of busy has got to stop (inside my head at the very least, if not at a societal level).  To be busy ‘apparently’ means we are successful.  It seems our busy-ness / business becomes our validation from the world, and without it we therefore believe we are nothing.  We have become terrified of doing nothing.  Do nothing and we are nothing.

But in believing this we are so unforgiving and so hard on ourselves!  So during my hibernation I’ve been thinking; why can’t we learn from nature and allow ourselves the regular opportunity to rest and grow strong?  We don’t expect a flower to bloom all year round or berate a rose bud for not being open yet.  Nature knows that there is a cycle of life needed for every living thing to nurture and replenish itself before it can truly thrive, and that this is okay.  

A tree in winter appears bare and dead but it is simply resting itself and nourishing its roots ready to reveal it’s incredible beauty and fruit in spring and summer.  Just like a tree in winter, perhaps it is necessary for us to habitually withdraw and step back in order to regroup and nurture ourselves to be the best we can?

By forging ahead regardless of my own needs for years and years, I finally burned all the energy and nourishment there was available within me, and my body is now steering me into a hibernation in order to recover.  Perhaps I have learnt that in future, the best way is to honour nature’s seasons and allow myself permission for a regular cycle of rest and growth.

There are obviously so many time commitments we can’t control, like looking after children or family members and working to pay our rent or mortgage.  However, it is the relentless pushing forward without regard for our own needs that we have to change.  Having been forced to sit down and look at my life from an objective perspective, I’ve learned that, when push comes to shove, even the busiest of us can find a way to stop doing some things and make time to rest.  And more than that, I’ve learned there is real value in the simplicity of being peaceful and quiet and not putting pressure on oneself to ‘do’.   If we stop, life itself will not stop – it may in fact become more full.

If your mind or body is calling on you to rest then listen to it – you are not wrong to answer this call.  All life needs time below the surface where it can incubateThis is the breeding ground of new life, where we can re-energise, replenish, and eventually bloom into our best self!

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